The Read House Hotel

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Read House
The Read House Hotel is located in Tennessee
The Read House Hotel
The Read House Hotel is located in the United States
The Read House Hotel
LocationChattanooga, Tennessee
Coordinates35°02′46″N 85°18′39″W / 35.04611°N 85.31083°W / 35.04611; -85.31083Coordinates: 35°02′46″N 85°18′39″W / 35.04611°N 85.31083°W / 35.04611; -85.31083
ArchitectWilliam Holabird & Martin Roche
NRHP reference #76001780[1]
Added to NRHPDecember 23, 1976

The Read House Hotel is a historic hotel in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The current building dates from 1926, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for Hamilton County.[2][3]


The first hotel on the site was the Old Crutchfield House, named for the Crutchfield family who built it. It was located directly across from the railway.[4] During this time in Chattanooga, the railways were the main source of business and imports. This constant flow of business is what allowed the Old Crutchfield House to prosper. The house doubled as an inn as well and a hospital for Union soldiers traveling through the city during the Civil War. The inn caught fire and burned to the ground in the year 1867.[5] After the fire, the Crutchfield family chose not to rebuild. This left room for John T. Read[6] to step in and build a new hotel in place of the old inn. The new Read House Hotel opened on New Year's Day 1872.[7] In 1926, the hotel was torn down and a new hotel constructed based on the design from the two architects Holabird and Roche to have a Georgian style with 10 stories. One more renovation occurred in 2004. The hotel dropped its affiliation with Sheraton in November 2015, and the official name is now The Read House Historic Inn & Suites.[8][9] On August 30, 2016 the hotel was purchased by Avocet Hospitality Group of Charleston, SC. An 18-20 million dollar renovation is scheduled to begin in 2017.[10]

Famous visitors[edit]

Being in the heart of Chattanooga, the Read House has come onto contact with many familiar faces. Among those are Oprah Winfrey, Gary Cooper, Winston Churchill, and one of the more well known, Al Capone.[11] Capone stayed in the Read House a short time during his federal trial in the early 20th century. Custom iron bars were added to the window in the room Capone resided in, and remained there until the latest renovation in 2004.[12]

Room 311[edit]

Perhaps the thing the Read House is most known for is the haunting of room 311. Many believe the room harbors the spirit of a woman named Annalisa Netherly. There are many legends as to who this woman was and how she became the famous spirit to haunt the hotel, but it is most well known that Ms. Netherly was a prostitute in Chattanooga during 1920s and 1930's. She supposedly resided in room 311 for an extended time. While details are hazy, Ms. Netherly in fact died in that very room. Some legends have it that she was found soaking in the tub with her head almost completely decapitated- more than likely done by a jealous lover or husband. Other legends say that as she took a gentleman suitor to her room and he later directed his time and attention elsewhere to another woman. This supposedly left her broken hearted and suicidal, and it was then that Ms. Netherly took her own life.[13] People who have stayed in room 311 say that Ms. Netherly hates men, especially those who smoke. Many guests that have stayed in the room, including Al Capone, have made it through the night without any paranormal activity, while others report it being heavy during their stay.


  1. ^ National Park Service (2008-04-15). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  2. ^ Gay Morgan Moore (2011). Chattanooga's Forest Hills Cemetery. Arcadia Publishing. pp. 35–. ISBN 978-0-7385-8694-6. Archived from the original on 2018-03-01. When the Crutchfield House burned in 1867, Thomas Read leased the property and built the Read House. ... here) managed his father's hotel and, upon his death, purchased the block and opened the current Read House Hotel in 1926.
  3. ^ Susan Sawyer (4 June 2013). MYTHS & MYSTERIES OF TENNESSEE: TRUE S. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 125–. ISBN 978-0-7627-9582-6. Archived from the original on 1 March 2018. century, the magnificent Read House became one of the first commercial establishments in the city to boast electric lights. In 1926 ... In 1977 the Read House was named to the National Register of Historic Places as a prime example of period ...
  4. ^ "American Roads Travel Magazine". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2015-10-12.
  5. ^ Lyn Wilkerson (1 November 2000). Roads Less Traveled: Exploring America's Past on Its Back Roads. iUniverse. pp. 240–. ISBN 978-0-595-14761-8. Archived from the original on 1 March 2018. Read House Hotel 1926 (West 9th Street and Broad Street) The Read House occupies a site used for hotel purposes since 1847, when the Crutchfield House was established.
  6. ^ Brown, Alan (2014-05-14). Haunted Tennessee: Ghosts and Strange Phenomena of the Volunteer State. Stackpole Books. ISBN 978-0-8117-4648-9. Archived from the original on 2016-05-16.
  7. ^ Best Books on (1939). Tennessee; a Guide to the State,. Best Books on. pp. 259–. ISBN 978-1-62376-041-0. Archived from the original on 2018-03-01. 1872 as the Read House. Under the management of Dr. and Mrs. John T. Read the hotel was well known for its hospitality and splendid cuisine. The uTin Banquet," given at the Read House in 1888, celebrated the success of the local ...
  8. ^ "The grand Read House Hotel and it famously haunted room 311 – OffBeat Tennessee". OffBeat Tennessee. Archived from the original on 2015-10-31. Retrieved 2015-10-12.
  9. ^ Pare, Mike (10 October 2014). Read House plans revamp, dropping Sheraton name Archived 2015-09-30 at the Wayback Machine, Chattanooga Times Free Press
  10. ^ "Avocet Hospitality Group Acquires The Read House; Multi-Million-Dollar Renovation Planned For The Historic Chattanooga Property". Archived from the original on 2016-11-05. Retrieved 2016-11-05.
  11. ^ Libby Wann (October 1990). Chattanooga: delivering the dream. Towery Pub. pp. 141–. ISBN 978-0-9628128-0-4. Archived from the original on 2018-03-01. Throughout the years, thousands of celebrities have slept and dined in the Read House. ... Nixon, Winston Churchill, Gloria Swanson, Benny Goodman, Bob Hope, Gene Autry, John Barry- more, Tom Thumb, Dizzy Dean, and Al Capone.
  12. ^ Coleman, Christopher Kiernan (2011-01-01). Ghosts and Haunts of Tennessee. John F. Blair, Publisher. ISBN 978-0-89587-512-9. Archived from the original on 2016-06-03.
  13. ^ Penot, Jessica; Petulla, Amy (2011-01-01). Haunted Chattanooga. The History Press. ISBN 978-1-60949-255-7. Archived from the original on 2016-05-11.

External links[edit]

Media related to Read House (Chattanooga, Tennessee) at Wikimedia Commons